Caretakers of Panther cry uncontrollably at its memorial, knowing it was cruelly thrown down from 22nd floor

Caretakers of Panther cry uncontrollably at its memorial, knowing it was cruelly thrown down from 22nd floor

SINGAPORE — Caretakers of “Panther” simply could not hold their tears at a memorial dedicated to the community cat as they recalled the memories of their beloved cat and how the cat lost its life.

15-year-old Panther tragically died from injuries after being thrown down from the top floor of block 186 at Boon Lay Avenue last Wednesday afternoon at about 1.35 pm by a ten-year-old boy living in the estate.

The two caretakers, Yati and Umy was being intervieweed by Mr Chan of Animal Human Alliance (AHA) who runs a pet food business, Gold-D in order to support his cat rescue work in Singapore.

“Down here, everyone love Panther. Never disturb people. You cannot see him meow or what because he is always here (at the void deck),” said Yati at the make-shift memorial for Panther with tokens of condolences by residents and other members of public.

“We take care of him. We send him grooming. When he sick, both of us apply revolution, send him see vet”

Umy could not hold her tears as she recalled how Panther would go to her house to meow for food.

Pointing to a corner of the HDB flat wall, the two caretakers noted that Panther’s body was chucked at the side of the wall by someone.

The caretakers shared that they initially thought that the cat was old and sick and thought that the cat might have been run over by a passing bicycle.

It was only the following day after the cat’s passing that they saw the video captured by a CCTV of a resident living at the 22nd floor.

The CCTV footage of the incident showed the boy taking a lift with the cat to the 22nd floor and throwing the cat off the floor after checking no one was around.

Yati calls for justice to be done for Panther, “even if he is sick and old, he still has a long way to go”.

“And he was taken away like that, you think it is fair or not?” said Uni while crying.

She added that there must be a voice for the innocent creatures and that the public have to keep a look out for the community cats.

The cat is understood to have been buried by its caretakers.

The resident who shared the CCTV footage, said he got back home at around 3 pm last Wednesday and could not sleep as per usual for some reason. This somehow spurred him to go check the CCTV footage and discovered the hedious act by the 10-year-old boy.

“He (Panther) don’t want me to sleep, what can I do? So I need to solve his problem. You know, thing already settled, now I sleep peacefully” said the resident at 22nd floor.

Boy said he threw the cat down because of lack of love from family

According to Lianhe Zaobao, a 47-year-old resident and cat caretaker, Chua Mui Mui said, “I am very sad, over the past two years, there have been at least five cases of cats falling down from the floors, but it is unable to determine if the previous cases were accidental or having been thrown down by someone.”

Chua confronted the boy the following day, asking if he had thrown the cat down the floor. She claimed that the boy had initially denied the act. It was when she showed him the CCTV footage that the boy confessed, saying, “it is because I cannot receive the love of my family, that is why I did such a thing.”

A netizen had claimed on the evening of Thursday that the boy was in police custody after a member of the public caught him trying to throw a second cat down.

Lianhe Zaobao’s reporter located the boy’s home near block 186. When his father answered the door, he said he did not wish to comment as the authorities were investigating the incident.

A similarly aged boy told the reporter that he would play hide-and-seek with the boy along with other children. He said that the boy is relatively quiet and often wears a smile.

Ongoing investigations by Police and AVS

A spokesperson from the police confirmed that a police report has been filed, and the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) is also conducting its investigation.

The Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals noted in a Facebook post that it had been alerted to the case and has since escalated it to the authorities.

It said it is deeply disturbed by the actions captured in the footage.

“Animal abuse and cruelty have no place in our society. We stand strongly against animal cruelty and are working closely with the authorities on the case for the next course of action.”

SPCA also told Lianhe Zaobao that it has paid a visit to the boy’s home and will work with relevant authorities to provide counselling to the boy.

It said that this incident proves the need to raise awareness of caring for animals.

The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) said in a Facebook post that it has assisted the caregivers in filing an AVS report on Thursday afternoon and linked the caregivers to the investigating officers.

It also shared that it is extremely upset about this incident.

“One case of abuse is one case too many, what more when a minor is involved. We want the investigations to be carried out efficiently and without issues including any attempted witch-hunt of the individual and/or his family.”

Minister of National Development, Desmond Lee also made a Facebook post about this incident, stating:

“We do not condone mistreatment of animals and will not hesitate to take action against offenders. Offenders caught harming or abusing an animal may be charged under the Animals and Birds Act, and could be fined up to $15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both.”

Mr Chan who has experience with such incidents, said, “Many cat feeders and rescuers have experienced abuse and abandomment cases and are usually frustrated by the lack of evidence. This case is unique in that by chance or by luck a CCTV footage of the crime was recorded.”

Change Petition receives over 69,000 signatures

A petition has been initiated on to urge the AVS and Singapore Police Force (SPF), to fully investigate and bring the perpetrator to justice.

Over 69,000 signatures have been received as of 6 pm on Thursday.

The petition notes, “We understand that the perpetrator is a juvenile and the Animal and Birds Act 1965 may not apply but we urge the relevant Authorities to enforce this law and hope that this act of cruelty will be punished with an equivalent standard.”

One signatory, Natasha, wrote, “We need tighter laws on animal cruelty no matter if the perpetrators are children or adults. From his furtive behaviour, this kid obviously is VERY much aware of his actions. No, I don’t care if he is a child. He is obviously old enough to know better. There are consequences to your actions, and he needs to know this.”

Another signatory wrote, “10-year-old children know what moral is, what’s right and wrong, what to do and what not to do, etc. The lack of care and love from family does not mean one should do harm to other living beings to get the attention required.”

UPDATE 23 Dec: AVS had asked for the body for investigation, and Panther’s body was exhumed. The body was later cremated by its caretakers.

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